SHREK THE HALLS|
Written by Mahamari Tsukitaka
October 28, 2008
With the holidays coming up, it’s not a big surprise that after a successful movie, two sequels, and a fourth film in pre-production, Shrek and company are back for a brief DVD Christmas special. If, like me, you generally enjoyed the last few adventures of the CG-animated ogre, you might be just a little curious about Shrek the Halls.
Shrek the Halls follows the third Shrek movie and stars Shrek, Donkey, Fiona, the ogre juniors, and—as can be expected—the familiar gang of reinterpreted storybook characters, including Puss in Boots, the three pigs, Pinocchio, the cross-dressing wolf, the three blind mice, and Gingy. Chances are, most people’s favorite characters make at least a brief appearance in this short Christmas short.
That’s the main thing to keep in mind when considering this DVD: Shrek the Halls is only 22 minutes long. It’s fairly standard Christmas-special fare involving Shrek’s reluctant introduction to the customs of Christmas (which ogres apparently don’t celebrate), an event that’s both complicated by Donkey and the storybook creatures when they crash the party and divert his plans for a quiet holiday with his new family.
The quality of the detailed 3D-rendered visuals are fairly close to those from the previous Shrek movies, and the main voices are still well performed by Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and Antonio Banderas. The storytelling, though, is a bit choppy, and the humor is sometimes a bit hit-or-miss, but there are definitely some very funny moments when the original charm and wit of the Shrek movies shines through—a 50-foot, syrup-covered Waffle Claus and Shrek’s crude rendition of The Night Before Christmas are definitely some of the highlights. It is a Christmas special, though, so be prepared for the comedy to be peppered with melodramatic feel-good moments. They tend to come in a package.
In any case, Shrek the Halls is presented in both widescreen and full screen formats on this DVD, with Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 Surround sound in English, French, and Spanish. It also includes a few special features: a 12 Days of Christmas Sing Along (featuring characters from the Madagascar movie), a Deck the Halls Sing Along (also featuring Madagascar characters), a matching game featuring Gingy, a demo and cheat code for the Shrek Carnival Craze video game, and a DreamWorks Animation Video Jukebox that includes many memorable musical clips from a number of DreamWorks CG-animated movies.